Birmingham Post: 2,000 sex offenders on region's register

Tuesday, 27 October, 2009

More than 2,000 registered sex offenders are living in theWest Midlands, police and probation services have revealed.

And, in the past 12 months, 127 sex offenders intheregionwerecautionedor convicted forbreakingthe termsof their probation - including 54 who went back to jail.

The figures were published by police and probation services, which work together to monitor sex offenders in the community.

Det Supt Cath Hannon, head of West Midlands Police's Public ProtectionSupportUnit, said: "We continue to develop a robust management regime together with our partners, to ensure the community is protected.

"We have dedicated police officers working to manage sex offenders on a daily basis."

She added: "Although serious violent and sexual offendingmakes up a small proportion of all recorded crime, it inevitably causes the greatest concern. While risk can never be totally eliminated, it can be managed with public protection as a priority for every agency involved."

There are 2,043 registered sex offenders intheareacoveredbyWestMidlands Police,which includes Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry and Solihull. This is up from1,895 last year.

They include 11 offenders judged to be among the most dangerous, known as "level three" offenders. They are placed under police surveillance or in specialised accommodationand their cases are overseen by senior officers.

Other forces also published figures.

West Mercia Police is monitoring 734 registered sex offenders whileWarwickshire Police ismonitoring 263 andStaffordshire ismonitoring 694.

West Midland Police has begun holding lie detector tests for a small number of sex offenders, to help determine whether they are in danger of re-offending.

The tests are part of a pilot scheme thatmay be introduced across the country if it is successful.

Justice Minister Maria Eagle said partnerships among police, probation and prison services, known as theMulti-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (MAPPA), had been successful in protecting the public.

She said: "The offenders dealt with under MAPPA can display extremely dangerous andunpredictable behaviour so the risk of further offences is ever present. That risk can never be eliminated entirely but the majority of those subject to activeMAPPAmanagement do not seriously re-offend due to robust and effectivemanagement.

"The number of those who re-offend seriously has remained at around 0.5 per cent for the past four years."

Conservatives said police needed the freedomto devote their time to managing sex offenders.

Shadow Police Minister David Ruffley said: "The increase inthenumberofsex offenders being registered is a sign of progress but it also underlines theneed to allowpolice to do their jobs.

"As a result of this worrying trend there will be pressure on police time to keep an eye on these offenders in local communities. That is why it is all the more important to cut the amount of police time wasted on unnecessary bureaucracy."

Registered sex offenders in theWest Midlands Police area, broken down by operational commandunit: Birmingham: nQueens Road Police Station, Aston: 123 n Lichfield Road Police Station, Sutton Coldfield: 100 n Stechford Police Station, Stechford: 114 n Bournville Lane Police Station, Bournville: 129 n Kings Heath Police Station, Kings Heath: 85 n Belgrave Road Police Station, Edgbaston: 103 n Steelhouse Lane Police Station, city centre: 42 n Ladywood Police Station, Ladywood: 93 n Thornhill Road Police Station, Handsworth: 87 n WolverhamptonWest (includes most of centralWolverhampton): 103 n Wolverhampton East (includes Wednesfield and Bilston): 131 n Walsall: 87 n Bloxwich (includes Darlaston, Willenhall and Brownhills): 98 n Dudley North: 99 n Dudley South (including Stourbridge and Halesowen): 88 n North Sandwell (includingWest Bromwich,Wednesbury, Tipton and Great Barr): 107 n South Sandwell (including Cradley Heath, Oldbury, Langley,Warley and Smethwick): 149 n Solihull: 103 n Coventry: 202